The ultimate 'bored game'

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The Independent Online
THIS WEEK the subject in our Time Pieces competition was Trivial Pursuit. We asked you to imagine it was the year 2093 and to write - in 150 words or fewer - a catalogue entry for this Eighties icon.

Gerret Lorenzen of Norwich impressed us with his entry, which begins thus: 'A group of bored Canadians conceived Trivial Pursuit whilst on vacation in the Algarve (a holiday area famous for its conceptions during the Eighties). Initially intended as a high-brow pastime, its main use was during parties that had run for too long. Harassed hosts would invariably shout 'Who's for a game of Triv?' This plan constantly backfired, as the five least-interesting guests always took up the offer.'

The winner, however, is Richard Lloyd of west London, who receives an Oris watch worth pounds 200.

The function of Trivial Pursuits has long baffled sociologists. The board's runic layout and the discovery of a 'Baby Boomer Edition' suggested a portable fertility ceremony, responsible for increasing ABC1 births in the Nineties. Alternatively, some believe it was used to set the short-lived National Curriculum.

However, Professor Payne's book, '1988 and all that', defines it as a 'bored game'; ie, a game without batteries. He believes it was the last produced before the 2032 Nintendo Declaration outlawed all non- electrical stimulation.

Obviously, some found pleasure in pointless answers to ludicrous questions, hence 'Game Shows' (op cit). But Professor Payne views it ultimately as a rehabilitation device for train-spotters. With the last train run in 2007, dangerous gangs began roaming the streets number-plate spotting. Trivial Pursuit weaned them off this by creating an endless supply of useless information to be collected, noted and forgotten.

This is the last in our Time Pieces competition and we would like to thank all those readers who, over the past eight weeks, have sent us such entertaining and witty submissions.

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